News and Views
Mao blasts Besigye, Lukwago over EALA elections
By Goodluck Musinguzi & John Nzinjah
Nobert Mao, the Democratic Party (DP) chief, has attacked Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president Dr. Kizza Besigye and Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago over the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) elections.
Mao said the two leaders, together with parliamentary opposition leader Nandala Mafabi, have a misguided militant approach that cannot lead the opposition to power.
He said DP would not be party to the boycott led by FDC on EALA polls, adding that he does not take instructions from other parties. “They should take their confusion to SUUBI or A4C,” he said.
The DP president general accused Besigye and Lukwago of unnecessarily antagonising DP and attempting to coerce DP into joining their boycott of EALA polls.
“Besigye and his group should stop smear campaigns against DP for taking a decision on nominating their candidate for EALA. He has de-campaigned us all the time, but he should know we are an independent party,” Mao said.
Mao was addressing DP western Uganda conference held at Rwenzori International Hotel in Kasese district. The conference is meant to rejuvenate the party in western Uganda after it posted marginal results in the 2011 general elections.
Mao said the protests being drummed up in Kampala by Besigye and group for television cameras will not convince Ugandans to dump NRM. He also accused Besigye and Lukwago of fighting the DP leadership.
He added that Besigye has been fighting DP because he knows the party has a strong foundation. “In the last elections, Besigye wanted me to join the Inter Party Cooperation, but we refused,” he said.
Mao said the creation of SUUBI, a Buganda political pressure group in which Lukwago participated actively, was meant to weaken DP but it failed.
The DP leadership has disowned Kenneth Kakande who was nominated by Vicent Mayanja, the deputy secretary general for EALA, saying Mukasa Mbidde is the party’s official candidate.
Reacting to Mao’s comments, Lukwago said, “If that is what my brother Mao has said, it is very unfortunate. But he is entitled to his opinions. Whereas I cut my political teeth during Museveni’s regime which came to power through militarism, I have never advocated for militarism. Our approach is like that of Mahitma Ghandi or Nelson Mandela, which is using peaceful civil disobedience to change leadership.”
Meanwhile, Joyce Namutebi reports, DP is divided over nomination of Mukasa Mbidde for a seat on the EALA. Mbidde on Wednesday submitted his nomination papers to the Clerk of Parliament after endorsement by the secretary general, Matthias Nsubuga.
However, the move has raised eyebrows among party members who wrote to Nsubuga asking him to explain why he signed on Mbidde’s papers when the opposition political parties represented in Parliament, including DP, had agreed to boycott the elections.
“I am writing to you in regard to the inter party political meeting held at Katonga and a subsequent memoranda signed by FDC, UPC, CP JEMA and DP in which meeting we agreed as the opposition to boycott EALA elections if the rules are not in conformity with Article 50 of the East African Treaty,” the party chief whip in Parliament, Sebuliba Mutumba, said.